Intel Ties Up With S.Korea’s KT On Mobile Internet

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U.S. giant Intel Corp. has teamed up with KT Corp. to help the South Korean firm set up high-speed mobile Internet services in its home market, which currently boasts the highest broadband penetration rate in the world.
The two companies said on Thursday they had signed an agreement to co-operate on a long-distance wireless broadband technology that Intel, the world’s largest chip maker, is betting will compete with wired access.

Intel has also agreed to provide engineering support to ensure inter-operability between its wireless data technology Mobile WiMAX and WiBro, a similar technology South Korea plans to commercialise early next year.
Intel is pushing WiMAX, which would provide high-speed data over areas as large as a small-sized city, as a way to spread cheap yet ubiquitous wireless broadband access.
The U.S. company is hoping to replicate the success it had in popularising the short-range wireless WiFi standard now popular in airports and coffee shops.

“We are very, very optimistic that WiMAX will provide an alternative broadband channel into the home,” Intel’s chief executive Paul Otellini told a news conference in Seoul.
“With Mobile WiMAX, Koreans can take the broadband Internet access they have enjoyed for years in their home on the road,” Otellini added.

South Korea’s top fixed-line and broadband operator KT and the country’s top mobile carrier SK Telecom Co. plan to offer WiBro service that allows users to maintain a high-speed Internet connection on mobile devices even as they move around.

South Korea has been a pioneer of broadband. Three-quarters of the country’s 48 million people have access to the Internet and some 12 million have high-speed connections.

But South Korean telecoms companies are seeking new growth areas as they struggle with stalled broadband and voice traffic markets.

The Wibro services operate at up to a quarter of the speed of WiFi services provided in public places such as coffee shops, but do not require users to remain in a “hot spot” near a transmitter.

Under the agreement with KT, Intel will provide its extensive broadband wireless expertise, silicon and technical services.

Intel expects the first commercial trials of WiMAX early next year, with different variations of the technology for mobile users available for trials by early 2007.

Irish Broadband To Expand With $4.3 Million Of Alvarion Equipment

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Alvarion Ltd. announced the receipt of follow-on orders valued at more than $4.3 million from Irish Broadband, Ireland’s leading wireless broadband service provider, mainly for its license-exempt product, BreezeACCESS VL, and as well for BreezeMAX 3500, its WiMAX-ready platform, and WALKair products, to be deployed during the coming year.

These orders enable Irish Broadband to expand its broadband wireless networks that provide high speed internet services throughout Ireland. Paul Doody, Managing Director of Irish Broadband, commented, “In 2002 we set out to build an alternative nationwide IP network. Alvarion has helped us achieve this goal and today consumers throughout Ireland can get access to differentiated, high quality broadband services at the most competitive price points.”

Since 2002, Irish Broadband has been expanding its wireless broadband network using various Alvarion products in both the licensed and license-exempt spectrums. In November 2004, Irish Broadband added BreezeMAX 3500, Alvarion’s WiMAX-ready platform, extending coverage to other cities, including Dundalk, Drogheda, Galway, Limerick, and Waterford.

Paul Doody, Managing Director of Irish Broadband, continued, “Alvarion equipment has enabled us to add more customers at higher speeds and more quickly, an advantage that has undoubtedly contributed to our fast growth. Our network is complete in all our major cities and towns and we are now building on this to provide near nationwide coverage by the end of 2005. Upon the acquisition of our 3.5GHz license, we chose to work with Alvarion to roll-out a WiMAX-ready network to take advantage of the advanced functionality and future cost reductions expected to result from standard wireless broadband products.”

Full Story: 
Busineess Wire
 – From Tel Aviv.

FCC Approves National BWA Licenses For 50 Mhz At 3.6 GHz

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FCC Approves Innovative National, Non-Exclusive BWA Licenses For 50 MHz At 3.6 GHz

The FCC unanimously approved today an innovative plan whereby WISPS can register with the FCC for non-exclusive licenses with up to a national footprint for deployment of wireless broadband service in the 3650-3700 MHz band.

Each of the five Commissioners approving the plan praised it as a creative compromise.  FCC Chairman Powell said the plan avoided the erroneous assumption that an allocation plan had to be either unlicensed or licensed.

Wireless Bureau Chief John Muleta said that two key differences with license exempt services are that higher power is authorized, and base stations must be registered to enable monitoring of interference.  “The rules use a hybrid licensed/unlicensed regulatory model similar to that just adopted for the 70/80 GHz band,” commented WCA License Exempt Alliance Counsel Robert Primosch.  “The Commission will issue non-exclusive nationwide licenses that will permit licensees to operate fixed or mobile services anywhere in the country, subject to interference protection requirements vis-à-vis each other, as well as grandfathered Fixed Satellite Service and government communications facilities.

Each licensee will be required to register its base stations so that the Commission can monitor use of the spectrum and licensees can better coordinate with other users of the spectrum.

Licensees will be permitted to use all 50 MHz of the spectrum, and an unlimited number of nationwide licenses will be issued.”  The date on which the FCC will begin accepting applications will be announced in a future FCC public notice.